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Dossier Hertz revisité (1907-2007) : Objets et changements dans les rituels funéraires

Spiritual remains: Hawai’ian funerary rituals and the legacy of Robert Hertz

Teri L. Sowell
p. 83-88

Abstracts

This essay examines the process of death, deification and the production of relics in traditional Hawai’ian society in relationship to the work of Robert Hertz. Hertz elucidated the belief that death is not instantaneous, but rather a procedure that lasts until the body reaches a skeletal state. This process produces relics which can be potent objects that continue to benefit the living and allow limited communication with the deceased. In traditional Hawai’i, relics can be classified as primary relics (major bones), secondary relics (teeth, hair and smaller pieces of bone) and tertiary relics (personal possessions of the deceased). Relics provided a lasting symbol of the deceased that could continue to chronicle and embody historical, social and divine relations, while retaining the mana(spiritual power and generative potency) of those associated with it. Hertz also recognized the importance of ritual in restructuring and revitalizing society. As people and objects experience rites of passage (separation, transition and incorporation), social structure and object meaning is recreated. Rites of passage, including death, allow for social readjustment and spiritual renewal.

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Index terms

Géographique :

Hawai’i
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References

Bibliographical reference

Teri L. Sowell, « Spiritual remains: Hawai’ian funerary rituals and the legacy of Robert Hertz », Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 124 | 2007, 83-88.

Electronic reference

Teri L. Sowell, « Spiritual remains: Hawai’ian funerary rituals and the legacy of Robert Hertz », Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes [Online], 124 | Année 2007-1, Online since 01 June 2010, connection on 11 December 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/jso/788 ; DOI : 10.4000/jso.788

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About the author

Teri L. Sowell

San Diego State University, tsowell@mail.sdsu.edu

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Copyright

© Tous droits réservés

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